Twerp performing at the Indiefest at Fenn Lounge on March 4th 1993 with Punchbuggy, Zykotik K9, Motel 9, Claymouth, Bertha Does Moosejaw, Spindrift, Triphammer, Brandon Walsh, Dead Beat Dads, Girlafraid, Earthtomueller and Funbox

Twerp performing at the Indiefest at Fenn Lounge on March 4th 1993 with Ripcordz, Punchbuggy, Zykotik K9, Motel 9, Claymouth, Bertha Does MooseJaw, Spindrift, Triphammer, Brandon Walsh, Dead Beat Dads, Girlafraid, Earthtomueller and Funbox

JoyJuiceperforming at the Westboro Multicultural Church (Ottawa Chinese Bible Church) on August 12th 1993 with Weakling, Superstar and Triphammer

Joyjuice performing at the Westboro Multicultural Church (Ottawa Chinese Bible Church) on August 12th 1993 with Weakling, Superstar and Triphammer

Before Kenobi started, Andrew Tweedy, Peter Read, Stephen Martin and Gunars Kazaks were in several teenager bands that made up the early years of the 90’s. Those included “Twerp”, “Mush” and “Joyjuice”, grunge influenced bands which featured cover songs like Nirvana’s “Breed”, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Guns ‘N Roses’ “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. Joyjuice lasted roughly two and a half years, yielded a demo and played nearly twenty shows. But it was in the summer of 1994 that Gunars was let go with Andrew and Peter switching off between frontman and drummer duties between songs. Kenobi was then Andrew Tweedy on vocals, guitar and drums, Peter Read on vocals, guitar and drums and Stephen Martin on vocals and bass.

Kenobi performing at Two Steps Above on May 28th 1994 with Mexican Power Authority and John American car

Kenobi performing at Two Steps Above on May 28th 1994 with Mexican Power Authority and John American car

Kenobi performing at The Pit on September 29th 1994 with Bertha Does MooseJaw and Triphammer

Kenobi performing at The Pit on September 29th 1994 with Bertha Does MooseJaw and Triphammer

The Star Wars influenced name was chosen by lack of agreement on a better one, which Pete lobbied hard for because he wanted a band name that started with a “K”. The real influences for the band came from Sebadoh, Union of Uranus, Shotmaker, Okara and weekly orders to Ebullition Records. Kenobi may have played some coffee house shows as warmers but their first real show was at Two Steps Above with Mexican Power Authority. MPA were on an Ontario tour in support for Ragamuffin Soldier Records’ release of “Haikü…Gesundheit” in 1994. This was a huge deal for the band as they were playing with a real touring band. By this time the band had stopped playing covers and only played their originals.

The Kenobi demo tape, 1995

The Kenobi demo tape, 1996

In 1996 the band recorded their first and only demo in Pete’s basement. It was tracked on a two-channel mixer, straight to cassette with all instruments into one and the vocals in the other and then all panned center. Over time the demo was dubbed on about 100 copies. By this time they were playing weekly around Ottawa and gained the attention of photographers Nick Shaw, who would go on to play in Buried Inside, and Shawn Scallen, who started putting up shows as well. On November 29th 1996 Sean booked Kenobi to play one of their most memorable show with 30 Second Motion Picture (ex-Shotmaker, ex-Okara) and Dead Man’s Right Hand (ex-Union of Uranus). The flyer for this show would later be used on their 2002 CD.

Kenobi performing at The Pit for the Youth Challenge International Benefit on January 21st 1996 with Super Star 2600, Weakling, Earth to Mueller, 389, Stum and Dogs Named Toy

Kenobi performing at The Pit for the Youth Challenge International Benefit on January 21st 1996 with Super Star 2600, Weakling, Earth to Mueller, 389, Stum and Dogs Named Toy

Kenobi performing at Two Steps Above on September 29th 1996 with Quioxte

Kenobi performing at Two Steps Above on September 29th 1996 with Quioxte

Kenobi performing at The Upstairs Club on November 29th 1996 with 30 Second Motion Picture and Dead Man's Right Hand

Kenobi performing at The Upstairs Club on November 29th 1996 with 30 Second Motion Picture and Dead Man’s Right Hand. This was used as the 2002 CD insert

The three members were very close friends and hung out all the time. But as people often do at such a young age, over the course of the next year or so, they slowly drifted in different directions. Steve and Andrew knew that Pete was getting ready to go away to college and decided to start something else. And so Kenobi ended around spring of 1997 and Buried Inside began.

The 2002 CD "Kenobi (1993-1997)"in its manila envelope package form

The 2002 CD “Kenobi (1993-1997)”in its manila envelope package form

Back of the CD insert

Back of the CD insert

It was in February of 2002, five years after the breakup that things for Kenobi happened again. Andrew was working at Raven Street Studios in Ottawa and one day (February 23rd) after work, Pete and Steve came in to track six songs, without ever practicing beforehand. They simply jammed out until the songs came back naturally and recorded that same night. Five originals were recorded, one of which was re-recorded from the demo, plus a Nirvana cover for “Breed”. This served as a way to document songs that were never recorded before and to give a proper farewell to the band. The band never had any reunion shows nor were the songs ever incorporated into Buried Inside sets. The CD was professionally pressed on 100 discs and hand packaged, using one of Nick Shaw’s photograph on a manila envelope and the previously mentioned November 29th 1996 show flyer for the insert. It was then sold (almost exclusively) at the Buried Inside show on October 31st 2002 for a dollar each. Obviously all this was done with the right intentions.

Download the complete Kenobi discography

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